An Invitation Regarding Law and Legal Education, and Imagining the Future
Michael J Madison
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Michael J Madison: University of Pittsburgh
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This Essay consists of an invitation to participate in conversations about the future of legal education in ways that integrate rather than distinguish several threads of concern and revision that have emerged over the last decade. Conversations about the future of legal education necessarily include conversations about the future of law practice, legal services, and law itself. Some of those start with the somewhat stale questions: What are US law professors doing, what should they be doing, and why? Those questions are still relevant and important, but they are no longer the only relevant questions, and they are not the only places to start. What about other legal educators, meaning those who teach and train in legal services worlds but who don’t teach the professional practice of law or the delivery of traditional legal services? What about those who are involved deeply in the production and distribution of law, legal services, and legal information but who are not, themselves, lawyers? Why start with current teachers; why not start with current or future students, or current or future clients, or current or future institutions, or current or future sets of values? Expand the communities of interest and identities of potential participants not only beyond elite US law schools, and not only beyond the private law firms that constitute BigLaw, but also beyond the US and beyond North America. The invitation goes out, in short, to a much broader audience than US law professors, and it is framed in broad but pragmatic terms.
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